Its been a long time since I last posted (six months in fact) and in that time so much has happened in my life that I have had hardly any time to do things to the Astra. Firstly I did my annual pilgrimage to Hong Kong and the fellas won all their bouts at the Choy Lay Fut International Kung Fu tournament. I also did some car spotting in Hong Kong – I must say I am always impressed by the calibre of hot looking cars there. I spotted this nice Ferarri parked in the backstreets of Mongkok, it was looking very out of place.
I also spotted a pair of Mercs that looked like it had a Brabus makeover. The rims were looking very sweet, apart from that the cars were pretty much stock looking – I didn’t really have a look under the hood so I can’t really say what had been done to them.
Then there was this thing… It looked like it was on stilts, very ugly.
I had a great time in HK once again but that wasn’t all that happened. I also became a dad for the second time this year with the birth of my son in November. Xavier has been keeping my wife and I up all night for over a month now and I don’t think it is going to stop anytime soon. Here he is with big sister Isabella.
I’ve also been looking for a new job, I feel that after ten years in one place it’s time for a seachange, so the Astra has been left on the side for quite some time. I did buy some small bits for it thou:
Some chrome air vents.
A new pair of Heko wind deflectors from Poland as well as tinting the windows (I got it done by a pro and was worth every cent).
I also did some more colour coding.
Stay tuned as in the next few days I wil be carbon fibre wrapping the hood and putting in those Audi style DRL lights I bought a few months ago. Once again Happy New Year everyone.
Finally got around to tinting the taillights I bought a week ago. This was my first ever attempt at tinting and all I can say is if you want this done to your lights PLEASE do not get me to do it for you. This is my guide to how NOT to do it.
First of all there are 2 main ways to tint lights – they are: (a) using a tint film or overlay or (b) using a clear coat spray paint. I decided on the film because of the fact that I could remove it if I didn’t like the tint or got bored with having dark taillights. Spraying a tint on the clear plastic is practically permanent, it can be removed but would entail many hours of sanding and buffing – Let’s just say that after my effort of buffing and polishing the taillights last week I’m not doing it again if I don’t really have to. I may still spray the taillights at a later stage if I get bored with the film (or it starts peeling).
OK on with the HOW NOT TO guide.
(1) DO NOT buy cheap no name brand tint off the internet no matter how cheap it is. As they say you buy cheap stuff you get cheap stuff. Again I resorted to Ebay and well guess what – the tint was rubbish. It came rolled up in a tube with no instructions or packaging, basically the seller just cut some off a big roll and sent me a portion of it. The film was quite thick and the backing side with the adhesive was way too sticky – in hindsight I would think a tint which is made of a thinner micron would be better to use, It would be easier to apply as well as heat up and mould to the right shape. The tint I used was moulding to shape but as soon as it cooled down it went back to its former shape, especially around curved areas. Below is an example of the bubbling that occurred after the film cooled down.
(2) Make sure you get quality branded product. If I do this again I will be sure to buy 3M brand or something similar.
(3) DO NOT get me to do it for you
For my first attempt it wasn’t a bad effort I guess. Up close is where you see all the bad workmanship but from afar it looks fine. I only really tinted the taillights as it had a few small scratches and cracks in the plastic. As I said I will live with it for awhile until I get bored and remove the tint and/or buy new taillights.
I also replaced the clear side repeaters with smoked ones today to match the taillights